CITY PLANNING

Climate Action

Pittsburgh has already begun to experience the effects of climate change with harsher winters, hotter summers, record setting precipitation, and increased numbers of invasive species. Coordinated, concentrated and comprehensive carbon mitigation action is needed to reduce the severity of regional impacts and prepare for low carbon economy. To address these challenges, Pittsburgh has created the Climate Action Plan.

Climate Action Plan 3.0 lays out strategies through which Pittsburgh can reduce greenhouse gas emissions within city limits and within City operations. This will lessen Pittsburgh’s contribution to global climate change.


Pittsburgh’s goal is to measure climate and ecological impact, and report findings, annually. The Greenhouse Gas Inventory quantifies emissions and analyzes the sources of those emissions. This data helps to inform mitigation strategies and is essential for tracking progress toward future reduction goals.

By 2030, Pittsburgh will reduce emissions by 50% from 2003 amounts and power all City facilities with 100% clean energy. Through efforts to reduce line loss and modernizing energy systems, this goal can become a reality.

As part of fighting climate change in our city, Pittsburgh’s goal is to reduce energy and water consumption by 50% by 2030. This goal can be achieved through improving the quality of energy and water use data, ensuring all new buildings are carbon neutral, mitigating high energy burdens in vulnerable communities, reducing sewer volume by 50% from 2013 levels, and improving efficiency of public street lights and traffic signals.

Pittsburgh’s goals are to reduce on-road transportation emissions by 50%, reduce vehicle miles traveled per capita by 50%, reduce freight emissions by 25%, and increase vehicle electrification. Through increasing walking and biking commutes, increasing Port Authority bus and light rail ridership, and expanding transit hubs, these goals can be achieved.

Pittsburgh strives to be zero-waste landfilled by 2030. By modernizing waste collection systems, improving education around waste diversion efforts, increasing composting, and enforcing waste policies, Pittsburgh can reach this goal.

Improving local food systems in the Greater Pittsburgh area is a key piece of climate mitigation for the city. Increasing the supply and demand of local produce strengthens the local food system, increases local profitability, and decreases the climate impact of transportation and sales.

Urban ecosystems—cities, towns and urban strips constructed by humans—impact the environment around them. Pittsburgh’s goal is to increase tree canopy and biodiversity, improve urban soil conditions, prioritize habitat conversion, and implement guidelines for additional greenways.

Pittsburgh has established six climate mitigation goals to achieve by 2030, including:

  1. 100% renewable energy in City facilites
  2. 50% energy and water use reduction in City facilities 
  3. Operate a fossil-fuel-free fleet
  4. Divestment of the City pension fund from fossil fuels 
  5. 50% transportation emissions reduction citywide 
  6. Zero-waste citywide

Pittsburgh is committed to:

  • Milan Urban Food Policy Pact
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • Sierra Club Ready for 100
  • Carbon Disclosure Project
  • Biophilic Cities Network
  • Urban Sustainability Directors Network 
  • Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities
  • American Cities Climate Challenge

 

Carbon Mitigation Actions

Transportation

Through leveraging grant funding and vehicle turnover cycles, the City of Pittsburgh has been purchasing alternatively fueled and hybrid vehicles for its fleet as technology becomes available. These vehicles incluse electric sedans for building inspectors, hybrid police vehicles, and CNG refuse trucks. 

In 2019, the Sustainability & Resilience division convened an Electric Vehicle Task Force to provide recommendations to enable residents and fleets to easily charge and operate electric vehicles. 

 

Climate Challenge

The Climate Challenge is a Bloomberg Philanthropies initative that aims to accelerate and deepen U.S. cities’ efforts to create the greatest impact through 2020 and showcase the benefits that climate solutions bring, like good jobs, cleaner air and cost savings. Pittsburgh is one of 25 cities chosen for its vision and leadership on climate action and is tackling carbon emissions in the four key areas of the Climate Challenge: reducing building energy use, increasing renewable energy, reducing vehicle travel and electrifying vehicles.

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